14/48: The World's Quickest Theater Festival Blog
I really enjoyed Saturday's 14/48 showing (8pm), but my group had trouble understanding the very last skit. Could someone explain what it was about?
I enjoyed nights one and two, and plan to attend tonight and tomorrow as well. Of the "Life You Knew" set, I particularly liked "Eggs of Green" and "Sticky Monkeyflower".However, I wanted to comment on "Jeff Becomes Her". I felt it was a poor premise, making the play nothing more than a very drawn-out hurtful joke. Most of us no longer consider "Whoa, wouldn't it be crazy if you had a gay sibling?" to be all that amusing. "Wouldn't it be weird if you had a transgendered sibling?" isn't actually any better. When the entire plot, and all of the humor, is derived from the mere fact of someone's sexuality, race, or gender identity, it's a good bet that in addition to being cruel, you're also not saying anything new or interesting. It struck me as thoughtless, lazy, and unoriginal.I'm not trying to say that offensive jokes shouldn't be allowed. I don't mean this in a complaint-to-the-management sort of way. (And there is some hilarious material concerning transgender issues; you just have to dig past the usual cliches and look at people's actual experiences to get to it.) I'm also not trying to discourage anyone from going to 14/48; quite the opposite, I'm bringing someone new with me tonight, and I've been encouraging friends to go. What I do want is for artists to have the freedom to say what they want- and then to hear about it both when they're fabulous and insightful and when they miss the mark entirely.
ZackLK: I'll get the playwright in touch with you. What's your best contact? Najalaise: Thanks for the feedback & coming back to 14/48 AND bringing new audience members to take the risk of seeing some truly awful and wonderful plays. It's risk-takers like you who make 14/48 sustainable. I forwarded your comment to the playwright. I have one question for you: Given the same premise and plot, what specifically would you have preferred to have happened in the play?Thank you again for your feedback.
Andy Joe: Could you have the playwright answer the question on this blog? Thanks!
I'll ask. Thanks, Zack.
Thanks, Zack, Thanks, Andy.Zack, I'm having trouble understanding your question. Maybe you could help me by answering a couple of mine. If you had to say, what do YOU think it was about? Did anyone in your group have any ideas? What did you find confusing?It also might help if I offered you some perspective: I don't consider what I wrote to be a "skit." I wasn't trying to be funny. So if you were wondering why it wasn't funny, that might go some ways toward explaining.Samuel Beckett once said he's plays aren't "about" anything. They just are. They are objects in the world, like a jar or a crumpled up dollar bill.For my own part, if there was some message I could sum up for you, I'd just do that, instead of writing a play. Plays are so much bother after all.
Hi Paul. First of all, this is another great thing about 14/48; the fact that I can talk to the playwright! I certainly didn't think it was meant to be a comedic act, although I did laugh a couple of times. My answers to your questions may not be great as my memory of the play fades, but I'll do my best.During the play, I was trying to connect to it in some way. I had a really hard time understanding what the couple on the left were *actually* going through. Were they really talking? Were they just thinking? Was it supposed to be only from one persons perspective?I had an easier time connecting to the couple on the right. It seemed to me that they were going through some kind of predicament, although I didn't think it was ever revealed.Another point of confusion for me was the connection between the two couples. One idea my group had was that the couple on the left was actually the same couple as on the right, but from a different time period.
Andy Joe, could you ping the playwright for a further response? Thanks!
Zack, why don't you send me an email at paul at paulmullin dot org. Let me know who you are and I'll be much more inclined to answer your questions.
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